Getting Dad Involved

For many of our homeschooling years, I worked with our children as their only teacher. As my oldest son made his way through middles school, however, I knew I needed some extra help, and we joined a co-op where he could take classes in math and science. At times, I tried to get my husband involved in the schooling too; a history buff and an avid reader of history books, I was sure he could help the kids with their social studies lessons. However, he tended to give them too much information that they couldn’t comprehend, so I just continued to teach them — until now.

This year, with my oldest making his way through his freshman year in high school, Dad’s knowledge has begun to play a much bigger part. Instead of just having my son read through his history book, answer questions, and take the tests, he has his own private history tutor — his dad! They sit down together and go over the text and questions, with my husband filling in information the text leaves out. He also pulls in other resources, such as videos and books, to reinforce the information.

This change in the teaching schedule has benefited our family in more ways than one. Not only is my son receiving solid lessons in history, but he and his dad are spending an hour or more of quality time together four nights a week that they didn’t used to have before. The relationship is growing stronger, and my son’s gaining a new respect for his dad.

How can your husband get involved? That depends — what does he like to do? If, like mine, he’s knowledgeable about a particular subject, he can help teach that subject. But remember, he doesn’t have to teach academics — life skills are just as valuable. If he likes to work with his hands, he can involve the children in building or home repair projects, gardening, yard maintenance, or car maintenance. If he enjoys the outdoors, he can take the kids fishing or hiking and include some good nature lessons. The possibilities go on and on.

So if homeschooling has become “mom-schooling”, take a few minutes to think of ways to involve dad. The lessons will last a lifetime.

Article by Samantha Bell

Picture by Jeff

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